NEANDERTHAL DNA DIFFERENT FROM HUMANS
DNA extracted from the bones of a Neanderthal man indicates that Neanderthal man did not contribute to the DNA make-up of modern man. While Neanderthal man is classified by paleo-anthropologists as human, DNA analysis indicates that Neanderthal men never directly contributed to the DNA profile of modern man, and this same DNA evidence also strongly suggests that Neanderthal man never even interbred with modern man. In other words, Neanderthal man contributed nothing to the "gene pool" of modern man.
New York Times Service, July 11, 1997
NEANDERTHAL AND MODERN MAN INTERBRED
The skeleton on a 4 year old child discovered in Portugal is said to prove that Neanderthals and modern Cro-Magnon humans interbred. The 4 year old child is said to have characteristics of both modern and Neanderthal man. The child, said to be a boy, has the distinct chin of modern man but the body of a Neanderthal. - Until the discovery of this child was made, it was generally assumed by paleo-anthropologists that Cro-Magnon men and Neanderthals did not interbreed. It was also generally assumed that Cro-Magnon man had exterminated the more primitive Neanderthal man. Now it appears that Neanderthal man was not exterminated by modern man but rather merged with modern man; thus Neanderthal man contributed to the gene pool of Europe. - The skeleton of this child has been dated by radio-carbon dating to ca. 22,500 B.C. This date was also something of a shock for paleo-anthropologists since it indicates that Neanderthal man did not disappear in ca. 30,000 B.C. as nearly all paleo-anthropologists had assumed.
- This skeleton proves that modern man and Neanderthal man were in contact with each other for more than 4,000 years longer than paleo-anthropologists had formerly believed.
- It also now appears that modern Cro-Magnon man and Neanderthal man were not all that different from one another. Erik Trinkaus, who is a professor of anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis and who helped excavate the child's skeleton, told a UPI reporter that: "This skeleton, which has some characteristics of Neanderthals and others of early modern humans, demonstrates that early modern humans and Neanderthals are not all that different. They intermixed, interbred and produced offspring."
- Trinkaus also told a Reuters' reporter that this skeleton challenges the "out-of-Africa theory" of human origins. The "out-of Africa theory" of human origins argues that early Cro-Magnon man developed in Africa and then spread to the rest of the world. In spreading from Africa, modern man then wiped out other hominids such as Neanderthal man in Europe.
- Even if modern man did come from Africa, the existence of this boy's skeleton shows that Neanderthals were not exterminated. And if Neanderthal men did contribute to the gene pool of Europe, then the theory of the African origins of modern man is not nearly so clear-cut as once believed.
- The discovery of this child also calls into serious question a DNA study made of a Neanderthal skeleton in 1997 that said that Modern man and Neanderthal man were too different to have interbred.
- The child's skeleton was found north of Lisbon and was covered with red ochre. Red ochre indicates a ritual burial of some sort, and it is often assumed that red-ochre burials provide proof for some type of early religious belief. Many red ochre burials have been discovered in Europe.
- UPI April 4, 1999 and Reuters, April 19, 1999
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